Any connection to the media recently likely led you to two events that burn in the current social conscience. One of those is a slow burn, while the other is a flash-point. The slow burn refers to COVID-19, a biological virus that has impacted us all, directly or indirectly. The flash-point occurred on the evening of Monday, May 25, 2020 when a black man named George Floyd was killed by a white male police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota. As of this writing, that police officer is charged with second-degree murder, and the three other police officers who were present at the time also have been charged with aiding and abetting that murder. [Read more…]
Homebound as many of us still are, depending on how you look at it, we are given an opportunity to spend more time with loved ones, or are forced to deal with the relationships in our lives. We can connect or disconnect. We draw closer to those important to us, or we maintain distance, protective of ourselves and possibly fearful and defensive at the thought of being closer to another. Those in the disconnect latter group have a greater tendency to go through the days with a certain impatience for things to return to what they were before, for routines to resume, for distractions to permeate our lives once more so that there will seem to be more urgent matters to attend to than our relationships. [Read more…]
You head out to a movie theatre to watch the latest blockbuster. (It hasn’t happened for a while, we know.) Popcorn and drink in hand, you find a seat with a good view of the large screen (or at least a decent view of it). The lights dim, the coming attractions have played, and you are ready to settle in for the film. The movie starts, and you are right into the flow and rhythm of whatever story unfolds before you. That’s when it stops. The image…paused. The sounds…silenced. An inconvenient interruption, but it’s just that: an interruption. So you (hopefully) exhibit some patience and wait for things to resume. And when they don’t, whether or not the interruption is accompanied by explanation (or a refund or raincheck), you leave. [Read more…]
This ongoing COVID-19 situation is a prime example of something that can threaten or erode a person’s sense of comfort, safety, belonging, and fulfilment to varying degrees and at different times. In the last blog entry, awareness of one’s breath was addressed as a first step to regaining those valuable feelings. The difference between this first step and ‘step one’ of a true baked-in-the-kitchen recipe is that in the kitchen you don’t expect to come back to step one until the next time you decide to create your culinary masterpiece. In our process, it is not uncommon to return to step one every time we falter, or every time that we pull ourselves out of the present moment with worries about the future, distressing feelings about the past, or both. In that way, it is more like getting up after falling off a bike, and rebalancing ourselves so that we can continue on our way. [Read more…]
If you’re ever in an airport, you might find yourself stepping onto one of those moving platforms to shorten the time to get from one place to another within the terminal. You might even walk along the moving platform as you would strolling down a corridor. If you’ve ever tried to keep the same pace, even a slow one, as you transition from moving platform to non-moving land, you have probably experienced that momentary ‘whoa’ as you strive to regain your balance and your world swiftly grinds to a slow crawl around you.
Consider snow globes, those self-enclosed landscapes with white ‘snow’ blanketing the ground, houses, and perhaps with models of kids playing, or snow-people built with smiling faces. To take a few moments to look at one might briefly bring some peace and relaxation.
Until you pick it up, and shake-shake-shake that snow globe until you can see nothing but white flakes swirling about, clouding the entire peaceful scene that you know is in there somewhere. And then you set it down again, watching everything swirl round and round, and waiting for things to settle once again. [Read more…]
This is being written as March Break, 2020 is coming to a close, or normally would if not for the self-isolation we are all encouraged to be a part of. Spring sprung days ago. This year, it seems like the acknowledgment of winter ending and the coming of spring that promises warmer and more comfortable days ahead is largely disregarded by the ongoing news of COVID-19. It’s a little like being too busy taking care of the kids to acknowledge the arrival of a loved one whom you would like to spend more time with. [Read more…]
Prior to COVID-19, many people had more of a sense of stability than they do right now. Many people lived their lives with a certain amount of recognizable happiness, planning for a future that they could see with relative clarity weeks, months, and even seasons down the road. [Read more…]
The unexpected turn of events in our society has resulted in policies and procedures that are being enforced at a rapid pace in order to sustain our personal and mental health. These events have generated a mixed bag of emotions; fear, sorrow, uncertainty, loneliness and anxiety. It is important to remember that these emotions are not only normal but also vital to our daily functioning. Anxiety in particular, alerts us that we need to take action to bring ourselves back into balance. In other words, anxiety is a protective instinct. It does not always feel comfortable but it is also not dangerous. Symptoms of anxiety include but are not limited to the following; insomnia (trouble sleeping), increased heart rate, fatigue, restlessness and irritability. When we choose to honor the intelligence of our anxiety, we reconnect with ourselves and consequently reduce the distress associated with anxiety. [Read more…]
Congratulations! You have begun to make personal behaviour changes in order to ensure a bright future for the planet! You have faced the psychological barriers that came up and implemented new regimes into your lifestyle. But the idea of so much change seems scary, and there are also big changes happening beyond your control. So, you might have begun to ask yourself: [Read more…]